ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Thursday is “Imagine A Day without Water.” The Monroe County Water Authority says it’s a day for people to recognize the importance of clean water in their lives, and to not take it for granted if they have it.
As part of the day, MCWA is asking people to post on their social media accounts -and to tag the water authority, with how they use water every day. The national day seemed like a perfect one to take a tour of their Shoremont water processing plant.
Shoremont is one of the number of facilities run by the MCWA that turns lake water into drinking water.
“Lake Ontario is our primary source of water. We do also purchase some water from the Erie County Water Authority,” said Chris Lamanna, the Director of Production and Transmission with MCWA.
MCWA says they produce an average of 60 million gallons of clean drinking water a day — up to 130 million in the summer — to nearly 800,000 people in Monroe County and beyond.
First, their pump stations get the water to a production plant, like Shoremont.
“First it comes into what’s called a ‘rapid mix area,’ where we add some coagulant chemicals and some other chemicals in there,” he said.
That coagulant, the compound aluminum sulfate, bonds with dirt and particles. Then the water is filled with chunky and foamy clumps, and from there, its brought the water is slowed down in large chambers. As the water moves from those large chambers, the big parts are filtered out. From there, the water goes through carbon and sand, then it’s disinfected and fluoridated. And from there:
“So several pump stations will lift the water, push it, you know, up to the water storage tanks and then carried further out to the next pump station and water storage tank,” said Stephen Savage, Director fo Engineering from MCWA. “From there, it’s put into the pipeline that goes into your tap… Everybody takes for granted that the water just comes out of the tap. And we know we’re doing our job.”
MCWA says that on average, the yearly total cost for a customer is $320, less than a dollar a day.